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Mobile Phone Glossary of Terms


2G
Describes the Second Generation of cellular networks (analogue was the first generation) A generic term that includes GSM, CMDA & TDMA standards.

2.5G
Enhancement to a 2G network to allow packet data services in addition to voice - eg GPRS

3G
A set of standards developed globally for new cellular networks offering much greater data throughput and efficiencies than standard 2G networks. Comes in several flavours - eg WCDMA and cdma2000

AIRTIME
The time spent talking on a cellular or mobile telephone. The total airtime usage is both the outgoing and incoming calls you receive.

BATTERY/BATTERIES
All cellular phones need a battery to operate. Most cell phone handset units will accept a "standard" or "extended" battery, with additional output of the extended adding to the length of time the battery will power the handset.

BLUETOOTH
A radio technology making transmission of signals over short distances between telephones, computers and other devices possible without the use of wires. It is possible to link household appliances to a controlling device, like your 3g cell phone.

CALL BARRING
Allows you to set your phone to prohibit certain incoming or outgoing phone calls.

CALL TIMER
Keep track of the time you accrue each month toward an allotment of airtime minutes.

CALL DIVERT
Enables you to divert incoming calls to another phone or answering service.

CALL HOLD
Enables you to put a caller on hold while a second call is answered or made.

CELL
The basic geographic unit of a cellular system and the basis for the generic industry term "cellular." A city or county is divided into small "cells," each of which is equipped with a low-powered radio transmitter/receiver. The cells can vary in size depending on terrain and capacity demands. By controlling the transmission power and the radio frequencies assigned from one cell to another, a computer at the Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO) monitors the movement and transfers (or hands off) the phone call to another cell and another radio frequency as needed.

CALLER DISPLAY
Display of incoming callers number on a mobile phone screen.

CSD
Circuit Switched Data - what you use when you do a dial up data or fax call from your phone. Different way of shifting data to GPRS. Has slower speeds/ higher cost generally than GPRS.

CLI
Calling Line Identification. Service that allows the number of a caller to be accessed by the recipient though services such as Caller Display.

COVERAGE
Denotes the area in which a mobile phone can make and receive calls. It is often described by networks in terms of the percentage of population that can use the service rather than actual geographic coverage.

DATA CAPABILITY
Data-capable phones enable transmission of data from a laptop, portable fax machine or personal digital assistant equipped with a modem and an auxiliary jack.

DIGITAL
Information represented by non-continuous values or signals sent between cell phones. It is binary, or consists of 0 and 1.

DUAL MODE
A wireless device that can be operated on analog or digital transmission networks.

DUAL BAND TECHNOLOGY
enables a network operator with spectrum at both 900MHz and 1800MHz to support the seamless use of dual band handsets across both frequencies. By supporting seamless handovers between 900MHz and 1800MHz, dual band networks can provide major benefits in terms of capacity enhancement.

DCS1800
A term for GSM1800 referring to a digital mobile phone system using the 1800MHz band.

DIGITAL
Electronic technology that generates, stores, and processes data in terms of two states. In mobile phones speech is converted into digital data, transmitted and then converted back to normal sound by the receiving mobile phone.

DUAL BAND
A term that describes mobile phones which are able to switch between GSM frequency bands. In the AUSTRALIA some network operators utilise switching between GSM1800 and GSM900 to overcome capacity restrictions. All new mobile phones in the AUSTRALIA can utilise this service if available. The term is also used to describe mobile phones that switch between GSM900 and GSM 1900 for use in the USA, although only a few handsets offer this functionality.

DUAL MODE
A phone that can operate on two standards such as GSM and DECT

EMS
Enhanced Messaging Service. Allows simple graphics and tunes to be exchanged in addition to SMS text messages. Requires that both phones are capable of EMS.

ESN
Each cellular phone is assigned a unique ESN, which is automatically transmitted to the cellular tower station every time a cellular call is placed.

ETSI
European Telecommunications Standards Institute. Organisation responsible for formulating GSM and DECT standards.

GPS
Global Positioning System. A worldwide radio-navigation system formed from a constellation of satellites, which enables users with suitable equipment to identify their geographic location.

GPRS
General Packet Radio Service. Allows continuous connection to data networks at a high rate.

GSM
Global System for Mobile Communication. A communication standard in three frequency bands, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 1900MHz. The term GSM is often used in AUSTRALIA to refer to the 900MHz band while the 1800MHz band is referred to as PCN. The GSM Association is responsible for the development, deployment and evolution of the GSM standard.

GSM900
A network which operates in the 900MHz GSM band.

GSM1800
A network which operates in the 1800MHz GSM band.

GSM1900
A network that operates in the 1900MHz GSM band. Some networks in the USA, South America, Asia and Africa use this band.

INFRARED DATE PORT
A data port that uses infrared data association (irDAŽ) as the standard for wireless communications between computer and mobile phone devices. For example, to update the phone list on your irDAŽ-enabled PC, you would line up the infrared ports on each device and then transfer the phone information to your PC.

NICKEL METAL HYDRIDE (NiMH)
A rechargeable battery technology used in personal cellular telephones. Less prone to memory effect than NiCd.

ONE TOUCH DIALING
Dial frequently called numbers by hitting just one key that you've programmed for that number.

PHONE BOOK
The list of names and telephone numbers you've stored in your phone internal memory or on its SIM card. The maximum number of entries you can store in the phone is fixed; the number of entries you can store on your SIM depends on your network provider. In either case, you can dial stored numbers by accessing the list you want, highlighting the number and pressing the connect button.

ROAMING
The ability to use a cellular phone outside of your cellular or PCS company's service area.

RS232
A connection that allows transfer of data. Suitably equipped phones can be connected to a PC using this method.

SATELLITE
These satellites orbit above the earth and send and receive signals sent by the antennas.

SIM CARD
Subscriber Identity Module. A small card fitted inside a mobile phone. It has a processor and memory for storage of users identity (PIN), user added information and text messages.

SMS
Short Message Service. Two way text messaging service.

SMTP
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. A protocol for sending e-mail messages between servers and from client to server.

SOFTKEY
A button to simplify using a mobile phone by switching functions.

STANDBY TIME
The amount of time a battery at full charge will keep a mobile phone running, without making or receiving calls.

TALK TIME
The amount of time a battery at full charge will maintain continuous speech.

TDMA
Time Division Multiple Access. Allows a number of users to access a single radio frequency channel without interference by allocating unique time slots to each user within each channel. This enables multiple handsets to share the same frequency in the same area.

TELEMATICS
Communications technology that combines wireless, voice and data to provide location-specific services.

UMTS
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System

TRI BAND
Mobile phones which are able to operate on three GSM frequency bands GSM900, GSM1800 and GSM1900.

T9
Text on 9 Keys. Also known as Predictive Text Input, this software allows users to easily enter text on a mobile phone by predicting what is being written.

UMTS
Universal Mobile Telephone System - Another name for 3G technologies/ standards

VOICEMAIL
Voicemail gives you the ability to take messages from callers e.g. if you are unavailable or the phone is switched off. Voicemail is free to activate and free to leave messages on.

VOICE RECOGNITION
Enables some mobile phone functions to be controlled with voice commands.

WAP
Wireless Application Protocol. An application communication protocol that compatible mobile phones can use to access services and information. The Open Mobile Alliance now oversees standardisation of this protocol. The current version is WAP 2.0

WCDMA
Wideband Code Division Multiple Access. A 3G technology adopted as an ITU standard under the name IMT-2000 direct spread. It allows mobile devices to access multimedia and other applications requiring high capacity.

WMF
Wireless Message Format Sends data through wireless means to mobile computers.

WML
Wireless Mark-up Language. A mark-up language based on XML intended for use in specifying content and user interfaces. Originally designed for narrowband mobile devices, it has now evolved to become part of WAP 2.0.


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